The historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which opened way back in 1923, is the oldest stadium being used by an NFL team. The stadium has hosted two Olympics, the first Super Bowl, and was the spot where John F. Kennedy gave his memorable acceptance speech during the 1960 Democratic National Convention.
But during the Eagles' 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams in the first Sunday Night Football game ever televised from the Coliseum, the stadium showed its age, at least according to Eagles announcer Merrill Reese.
Prior to kickoff, Reese joined WIP host Glen Macnow for a pre-game discussion about the Eagles' chances, but the conversation started with a rundown of the stadium’s facilities from the longtime announcer.
“This place was great for the 1932 Olympics. But since then, it has gone down the chute,” Reese joked. “We are sitting in a portable cubicle in the middle of the stands. We’re at press level, but you’ve got to go up and down plywood.”
“And the restroom is a port-a-potty,” Reese added.
“Merrill, I’d hold it until you got back to the hotel,” Macnow dryly noted.
The Coliseum is undergoing a $315 million renovation, which includes adding WiFi and luxury boxes, reducing the stadium’s seating capacity, upgrading concession stands and renovating the press box. The renovations have created some headaches for reporters and broadcasters all season, including Los Angeles Times sports reporter David Wharton.
The Rams are temporarily playing in the Coliseum until 2020, when the team’s new stadium — Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park — is scheduled to open.
Last week, NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth went viral over what the internet has dubbed the “Collinsworth Slide,” the moment each week when the camera pans and Al Michaels introduces him to the broadcast. NBC fully embraced the meme by sharing a collection of Collinsworth’s entrances this season, and the Action Network’s Darren Rovell was crushed over his response to the obviously fake video.
Sunday night, with a wink and a nod to the internet, Collinsworth once again slid into the broadcast, but for the first time all season, he entered the screen from the left.
“If it’s funny and makes me laugh, I’m all good with it,” Collinsworth told For the Win. “God forbid I do the ‘Electric Slide’ at a wedding or something. People would lose their minds.”
Following the Eagles' unlikely win last night, it’s easy to find people who picked the Rams to win what seemed like a lock — a game against an injury-depleted team basically out of the playoffs with their backup quarterback lining up under center. According to Rovell, one big spender actually placed a $180,000 bet on the Rams to win.
The NBC Sports crew was no different, with the entire crew picking the Rams to win at home against the lowly Eagles. The only outlier was former head coach Tony Dungy, who picked the Eagles to win specifically because Nick Foles was starting the game.
“I was there in Philadelphia for their week of preparation before the Super Bowl, and I can tell you just what Cris [Collinsworth] is saying, those guys believe in Nick Foles,” Dungy said. “They had the absolute faith that he could go out there and outplay Tom Brady … Nick Foles is going to help them tonight.”
Dungy added more on Twitter Monday morning.